You see it all over television, celebrities endorsing “syrup,” which is a combination of cough syrup with codeine and soda, two ingredients that can make for a lethal recipe.
Stores in Southeast Texas are now carrying the products that bear the names “drank” and “syrup”, but with a different twist.
Drank and Sippin Syrup are two examples of a new anti-energy drink that is supposed to provide “extreme relaxation.” There is nothing harmful in these products, in fact one of the main ingredients is Melatonin, a natural substance that helps you sleep.
18-year-old Jackie Robinson says he just started drinking this anti-energy drink because of the slogan, “sippin syrup.”
“I ain’t gonna lie it really do,” said Robinson Wednesday afternoon as he sipped his drink outside a Beaumont convenient store. “It probably attracts a lot of people from the name too.”
Extreme relaxation is the marketing pitch behind these products, but law enforcement agencies around Southeast Texas, say it is much more than a drink.
“It is such an obvious gateway product to one of the most dangerous drugs in our area,”said Major Jim Singletary who works in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Singletary cracks down on narcotics on a daily basis and is appalled by these drinks.
“We got enough problems with kids experimenting with the real thing,” added Singletary. “Now the younger kids will be able to buy something like this until they can buy the real thing.”
Some parents like Johnny Davison, who has four kids, is making sure his children stay far away from the product.
“You hear it all the time on the rap tapes,” said Davison. “If kids see it they’re going to think it’s something good.”
While teenagers like Jackie Robinson are quick to admit why they drink it.
“To put sippin syrup they’re going to make some money,”exclaimed Robinson.
The teen says as long as the message is out there he will keep on sippin’.